Tag Archives for " microphone "

Shure Reinvents Itself

By Bill Evans / January 22, 2016

So far the amount of actual newsworthy stuff coming out of NAMM has been a trickle at best. It’s amazing how much better a perception one can get on the annual gear fest when not in the middle of the noise and dog-and-pony-shows. Up until now the “advances” in dynamic microphone tech have been fairly pedestrian with the exception of the stuff Heil has been putting out for a long time now. But Shure stepped up to the plate in a big way last night. When we got an invite for a night-before-the-show preso from the biggest mic company in the world, we figured it would be a big deal. The last time they did anything like this was the release of the Axient system.

And they did not disappoint. We are looking to get our hands on one of these as soon as we can pull it off. It’s great to see the company that defined the dynamic market and continues to dominate it with the SM58 and associated offshoots finally reinvent the 50-year old tech that dominates handheld vocal mics on stages across the known universe.


Shure Unveils KSM8 DualdyneTM Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

The World’s First Dual-Diaphragm Dynamic Handheld Microphone and the
Most Significant Dynamic Microphone Technology Advancement the Industry has Seen in More Than 50 Years

NILES, Ill., Jan. 21, 2016—Today, at the 2016 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, Shure unveiled the KSM8 DualdyneTM Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone. A groundbreaking feat of engineering design, the KSM8 is the world’s first dual-diaphragm dynamic handheld microphone for revolutionary vocal reproduction and accurate sound-reinforcement and control. The KSM8 extends the Company’s wired microphone line—which includes numerous products of significance and enduring legacy—such as the Unidyne® 55 and the SM58® Microphone.

Designed for live sound performances where vocal clarity and sound quality are absolutely critical, the KSM8 not only meets the most discerning quality and reliability standards, it also has the versatility to adapt to changing environments without impacting performance. The KSM8 will revolutionize dynamic microphones in the live sound industry by providing sound engineers with a dynamic microphone that has virtually no proximity effect, a mastery of off-axis rejection and an output accuracy that requires none of the presence peaks or roll-offs that are typical of other dynamic microphones. Delivering unmatched vocal reproduction, the KSM8 design virtually eliminates the need for EQ and processing.

“The off-axis rejection is pretty amazing,” said Michael Abbott, Broadcast Mixer with The Voice and Shark Tank. “Low frequency is very smooth and I definitely noticed nice proximity control, which our host Carson (Daly) definitely requires. High frequency response is noticeably more enhanced. It’s an exceptionally well designed microphone by Shure.”

Meticulously crafted for exceptional vocal reproduction and sound-reinforcement control for world-class live performance in professional venues, the KSM8 features the purest cardioid polar pattern that Shure has developed to-date, providing the most consistent on-axis performance regardless of the performer’s microphone technique.

“Being part of the dynamic microphone resurgence has been extremely exciting for me, because our customers were always asking us what’s next in dynamic microphones,” said Scott Sullivan, Senior Director of Global Product Management at Shure. “When it comes to microphone technology and development, Shure has, what I consider to be, the “secret formula.” In my opinion, no other company, through our exceptional engineering department, could have achieved what we did with the KSM8.”

“In order to make the Dualdyne concept a reality, we had to reinvent the way we make dynamic microphones.” added John Born, Shure Product Manager. “We knew the only way to bring the concept to life, was to set all pre-existing parts and template designs aside, and start from scratch. Since then, we’ve put over seven years of engineering and development into creating something we knew the industry needed, but had never seen. As a result, the introduction of the KSM8 brings an entirely new dynamic microphone element to the world.”

The ability to virtually eliminate proximity effect and master off-axis rejection is powered by the patented Dualdyne cartridge of the KSM8, which features two ultra-thin diaphragms—one active and one passive—and a groundbreaking inverted airflow system. Additionally, its pneumatic shock mount offers exceptional rejection of handling noise without any loss of low frequency response.

As is the case with all Shure products, the world-class design and durability of the KSM8 is present in every aspect of the microphone. A dent- resistant, hardened carbon-steel grille design lined with hydrophobic woven fabric provides exceptional plosive and wind protection, while offering virtually waterproof protection. The aluminum handle—which is available in a brushed nickel or black finish—completes the KSM8’s clean and sophisticated design aesthetic that is a seamless addition to any stage.

The KSM8 is also available as a handheld transmitter option for use with Axient®, UHF-R®, ULX-D®, and QLX-D® wireless systems, and as a wireless capsule for use with other Shure wireless systems. Additionally, new KSM8 transmitters are now offered in a brushed nickel finish on ULX-D and UHF-R wireless systems.

The retail price for the KSM8 starts at $499. For additional details on the KSM8, please stop by the Shure booth (Hall A, booth #6541) at the 2016 Winter NAMM Show or visit www.shure.com/ksm8.

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License and Registration, Please…

By spladmin / August 13, 2015

We are revisiting this because there is some new news about the future of the 600 mHz band and wireless mics and monitors. The following piece by Shure’s Mark Brunner–written about a year ago–hinted at what might come and it is now official.


This week, the FCC adopted rules for use by unlicensed devices in what will be left open in the 600 mHz band after the spectrum auction happens sometime next year. In case you are unclear, “unlicensed” devices includes better than 80% of the the wireless mic and monitor systems in use today by venues, houses o worship, touring bands and regional and local sound companies. if you want to see the actual legal document, you can download it here for the next couple of weeks. But to sum it up…

We (as in users of wireless mics and monitors) will get to use SOME of the 600 mHz band. But it is a much smaller portion than we are using today and we are gonna have to share with coming “white space” devices. You remember those, right? We have been talking about them for nearly a decade. Suffice to say that they will probably be or a t least resemble the smartphones and wireless tablets being used today. But they will send and receive in the same space as your wireless mics.

Interesting times, indeed…




There is considerable angst and speculation in pro audio over the fact that the FCC plans to auction portions of the 600 MHz UHF Band in 2015 and “repack” the remaining digital TV stations into the lower frequencies. After auction of the 700 MHz Band in 2010 as a result of the DTV transition, it’s easy to leap to judgment that wireless microphones are losing ground in the increasingly crowded competition for RF spectrum. But as the table of allocations at the FCC continues to evolve, so do the awareness, policy, and technologies of wireless pro audio which, when viewed collectively, can make the glass look more like half full.

Because the FCC is at the center of the conversation, the casual observer may mistakenly believe that moving the pro audio cheese is their idea alone. The reality is that both the DTV transition and the pending “Incentive Auction” resulted from acts of Congress, which some time ago connected the dots in determining that spectrum policy could be fiscal policy, particularly as the mobile broadband revolution began to unfold and then skyrocket.

The 600 MHz Incentive Auction is mandated by law as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Broadcasters are being offered a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to relinquish and/or share their spectrum voluntarily, which will be auctioned to the large telecom companies (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, et al.). Proceeds will go to both the participating broadcasters and to the federal government for various programs.

As a result, wireless mics will eventually be ordered to vacate portions of the 600 MHz range. The current plan calls for an auction in “mid 2015” followed by a 39 month transition period to repack the DTV stations. During that time, the FCC will finalize plans to accommodate wireless microphones in the new, repacked spectrum. Until the auction winners commence service, the current status quo prevails.

The good news is that, per a recent Report & Order, the FCC acknowledges wireless microphones – including microphone, instrument, in-ear monitor, and intercom systems – as an important user class that will have to be accommodated in the new spectrum allocations, both in the UHF TV Band and elsewhere.

For instance, we already know that post-auction there will be one dedicated TV channel (down from two), plus spaces in the 600 MHz guard bands and duplex gap for shared used by wireless microphones and TV band devices (TVBDs, also called “white space devices”). More importantly, the FCC has committed to finding additional spectrum space outside the TV Band for future wireless mic operation. So while we will see reductions in the 600 MHz band, there are significant efforts underway to find alternatives for wireless mics.

Perhaps even more significantly, the FCC is expanding access to licensing, and to the protection from TVBDs via the national geolocation database system. Part 74 licensing, since 1979 restricted to broadcasters, cable operators and movie producers, is now – yes, now – available to any sound company, production company, or venue that routinely operates 50 channels or more. Licensees’ channel usage and location can be registered in the database, and white space TVBDs will be unable to transmit (and thus cause interference) on those channels for the specified time period.

For smaller operators who are unlicensed, the FCC has enabled protection of specific events under Part 15. Although this process is less streamlined, it does allow users to reserve open TV channels and avoid interference from TVBDs at the time and location specified. This system requires a 30-day advance request to the FCC, and therefore is appropriate for recurring events like theatrical productions and house of worship services using under 50 channels, as well as any one-off event that is known more than a month out.

Meanwhile, what’s a wireless mic operator to do?

Obviously, no one wants to see a prized and expensive piece of gear get retired early. We’ve been down that road, and it can be bumpy. But at least we have advance warning.

Over the next four years or so, pro audio users should consider phasing out aging 600 MHz wireless equipment. Exactly where the guard bands around the newly auctioned spectrum will fall will not be clear until the auction is complete, however, so some 600 MHz systems will be operational even after the telecoms move in. When purchasing new wireless systems, it would be wise to consider all alternatives until the new spectrum is fully defined.

Fortunately, there are more choices than ever. In the wake of the 2010 White Spaces proceedings, many wireless manufacturers have developed new digital architectures to expand their offerings into other ranges, such as 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz. While these are shared frequencies with common technologies like Wi-Fi, they do represent a viable alternative for many applications.

In addition, higher tier systems are incorporating significant technological advances to improve channel count (the number of systems one can deploy in a certain amount of spectrum). A setup that may have required multiple 6 MHz TV channels of spectrum a few years ago can today be accommodated in one.

Meanwhile, wireless manufacturers continue to represent the interests of pro audio users, large and small, before the FCC. We testify, we lobby, and we participate in all aspects of the commission’s process.

Over the past 10-15 years, we have raised the profile of wireless microphone users significantly. For decades, wireless microphones operated behind the scenes without causing interference or receiving it, working in harmony with TV stations that left large spaces in between for pro audio operations. Today, we are competing with telecom, computer, and consumer electronics giants, all demanding a bigger slice of the wireless pie. Yet the FCC now acknowledges that ours is a very important user community — deserving of allocation and protection – despite the enormous pressures it faces to regulate the new exploding wireless ecosystem.

So while we will be seeing changes to the 600 MHz UHF Band in the coming years, take heart. Life will go on, and professional wireless systems will be an important part of it. Stay tuned.


Mark Brunner is Sr. Director, Global Brand Management for Shure Inc.

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Miking a Guitar Amp WIthout a Mic Stand

By Robert Caprio / April 14, 2015

The Audix Cab Grabber in action.


3) Use a Z-Bar


The Z-Bar is the simplest, most affordable and most flexible non-mic-stand solution. It is literally a Z-shaped aluminum bar with a distance-adjustable mic clip. It can be used on pretty much any amp. Between the head and speaker cab. With the arm strung through the handle of a combo amp or with one arm between the bottom of the amp or cabinet and the floor. The only real con is that most music stores don’t carry them so you have to order online, but they cost 1/2 of what a CabGrabber runs. The “Roll Your Own” button to the left brings up a video on how to make your own with stuff you can buy at pretty much any home supply store (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.).


Z Bar in action

A Z-Bar in use.  The Z-Bar can also be inserted between cabinets or beneath the amp’s handle.

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